I wonder if anyone can offer any suggestions/hints regarding my dilemma...
We are about to have 2x point-to-point fiber links installed between our sites. My colleague is looking at a MUX solution so that Ethernet, E1 and RS232 can be directly connected to the MUX and mapped accordingly at either end - Personally I don't want to use this solution and would rather look at cisco 4500 series.
So, what would be better?
Also, are the line cards available to take E1 and RS232 connections? Or, would I need to recycle my current 2911's to perform these tasks?
I'm looking at the 4500 series to future proof ourselves mainly. We'll also be acting as a 'Service Provider' to other internal customers, so will be using vrf's quite a lot too, so will need the processing power and memory...
If more information is needed, let me know and I'll post it up. At the moment we are in concept and design.
You can not terminate E1 or RS232 interface on the 4500 series switches. They are mainly Ethernet switches. To terminate E1 interfaces, you need routers. Cisco 3900 series is probably a good choice for terminating E1 circuits.
Thanks for the reply...I did look at what modules were available on the 4500 and didn't see either - yes, we currently use 2900 ISRs for rs232 and E1 connections, so we'll just recycle them.
Can't really comment on MUX solution as not my strength but in terms of the 4500s.
If you are going to be a sort of SP to internal customers then two switches per site not one would be my choice. That would provide you wit not only supervisor and module redundancy but also the chassis as well.
There isn't really enough information in terms of what lies behind each pair of 4500s eg. user vlans, do you need to extend vlans between sites, other L3 devices so the rest are just things to think about.
4500s run VSS so that could be an option. VSS has quite a few benefits and few downsides. Upgrading would be the thing I would be slightly concerned with in that we do see posts on these forums about hitless upgrades not working properly.
That said it may just be we only see the ones that don't work and most do and i haven't used VSS on 4500s so it may be a non issue.
VSS would allow you to put both links into the same etherchannel and spread the links across both chassis at each site.
If you are thinking of connecting with L3 links then you need the right IOS for L3 MEC support on VSS. With two separate switches obviously this isn't an issue.
Again it comes down to what is behind the 4500s. For example if you had other L3 devices that were dual connected to each switch then either VSS or separate switches connected to the other site with L3 links would work well as each L3 device would see equal cost paths to remote networks
If you had singly connected L3 devices though then VSS would be the better choice because with separate switches only one of the links would be used.
I'm not really arguing for either as i thin both could work well depending on the other requirements.
In terms of throughput, I'm sure you are aware but obviously the modules you buy are as important as the actual supervisor in terms of the performance you will gain.